Jeffrey I Cohen

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 베서스다, Maryland, United States

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Publications (169)1183 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background/objectives: There is currently no licensed prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine for HSV-2 infection. Methods: We developed a novel preclinical vaccine candidate, G103, consisting of three recombinantly expressed HSV-2 proteins (gD and the UL19 and UL25 gene products) adjuvanted with the potent synthetic TLR4 agonist glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA) formulated in stable emulsion. The vaccine was tested for immunogenicity and efficacy in pre-clinical models for preventative and therapeutic vaccination. Results: Vaccination of mice with G103 elicited antigen-specific binding and neutralizing antibody responses, as well as robust CD4 and CD8 effector and memory T cells. The T cell responses were further boosted by subsequent challenge with live virus. Prophylactic immunization completely protected against lethal intravaginal HSV-2 infection in mice, with only transient replication of virus in the genital mucosa and sterilizing immunity in dorsal root ganglia. Supporting the use of G103 therapeutically, the vaccine expanded both CD4 and CD8 T cells induced in mice by previous infection with HSV-2. In the guinea pig model of recurrent HSV-2 infection, therapeutic immunization with G103 was approximately 50% effective in reducing the number of lesions per animal as well as the overall lesions score. Conclusions: Taken together, the data show that G103 is a viable candidate for development of a novel prophylactic and therapeutic HSV-2 vaccine.
    Vaccine 11/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.10.137 · 3.62 Impact Factor
  • Kening Wang · Kyle N Goodman · Daniel Y Li · Mark Raffeld · Mayra Chavez · Jeffrey I Cohen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Importance: Genital herpes simplex (HSV) is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases. Though HSV-2 disease is usually mild, it can be life threatening in neonates and immunocompromised persons. In addition, genital herpes increases the frequency of HIV infection and transmission. HSV-2 maintains a latent infection in sensory neurons and cannot be cleared with antiviral drugs. The virus frequently reactivates, resulting in virus shedding in the genital area which serves as source for transmission. A prophylactic vaccine is needed to prevent disease and control the spread of the virus. Previous human trials of subunit vaccines have been unsuccessful. Here, we report the results of vaccinating mice with a new type of live attenuated HSV2 vaccine that is impaired for infection of neurons and provides better protection of mice than a subunit vaccine. The strategy of altering cell-tropism of a virus is a new approach for a live attenuated vaccine.
    Journal of Virology 11/2015; DOI:10.1128/JVI.01845-15 · 4.44 Impact Factor
  • XueQiao Liu · Jeffrey I Cohen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Importance: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with both B cell and epithelial cell malignancies, and the virus activates multiple signaling pathways important for its persistence in latently infected cells. We identified a viral tegument protein, BGLF2, which activates members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. Expression of BGLF2 increased expression of EBV BZLF1, which activates a switch from latent to lytic virus infection, and increased production of EBV. Inhibition of BGFL2 expression, or inhibition of p38/MAPK which is activated by BGLF2, reduced virus reactivation from latency. These results indicate that a viral tegument protein, which is delivered to cells upon infection, activates signaling pathways to enhance virus production and facilitate virus reactivation from latency.
    Journal of Virology 11/2015; DOI:10.1128/JVI.01410-15 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) represents a major global health problem. Though it is associated with infectious mononucleosis and ∼200,000 cancers annually worldwide, a vaccine is not available. The major target of immunity is EBV glycoprotein 350/220 (gp350) that mediates attachment to B cells through complement receptor 2 (CR2/CD21). Here, we created self-assembling nanoparticles that displayed different domains of gp350 in a symmetric array. By focusing presentation of the CR2-binding domain on nanoparticles, potent neutralizing antibodies were elicited in mice and non-human primates. The structurally designed nanoparticle vaccine increased neutralization 10- to 100-fold compared to soluble gp350 by targeting a functionally conserved site of vulnerability, improving vaccine-induced protection in a mouse model. This rational approach to EBV vaccine design elicited potent neutralizing antibody responses by arrayed presentation of a conserved viral entry domain, a strategy that can be applied to other viruses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Full text can be found at Valid until October 16, 2015
    Cell 08/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2015.07.043 · 32.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Invading pathogens trigger specific host responses, an understanding of which might identify genes that function in pathogen recognition and elimination. In this study, we performed trans-species expression quantitative trait locus (ts-eQTL) analysis using genotypes of the Plasmodium yoelii malaria parasite and phenotypes of mouse gene expression. We significantly linked 1,054 host genes to parasite genetic loci (LOD score R 3.0). Using LOD score patterns, which produced results that differed from direct expression-level clustering, we grouped host genes that function in related pathways, allowing functional prediction of unknown genes. As a proof of principle, 14 of 15 randomly selected genes predicted to function in type I interferon (IFN-I) responses were experimentally validated using overexpression, small hairpin RNA knockdown, viral infection, and/or infection of knockout mice. This study demonstrates an effective strategy for studying gene function, establishes a functional gene database, and identifies regulators in IFN-I pathways.
    Cell Reports 07/2015; 12(4). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2015.06.058 · 8.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Invading pathogens trigger specific host responses, an understanding of which might identify genes that function in pathogen recognition and elimination. In this study, we performed trans-species expression quantitative trait locus (ts-eQTL) analysis using genotypes of the Plasmodium yoelii malaria parasite and phenotypes of mouse gene expression. We significantly linked 1,054 host genes to parasite genetic loci (LOD score R 3.0). Using LOD score patterns, which produced results that differed from direct expression level clustering, we grouped host genes that function in related pathways, allowing functional prediction of unknown genes. As a proof of principle, 14 of 15 randomly selected genes predicted to function in type I interferon (IFN-I) responses were experimentally validated using overexpression, small hairpin RNA knockdown, viral infection, and/or infection of knockout mice. This study demonstrates an effective strategy for studying gene function, establishes a functional gene database, and identifies regulators in IFN-I pathways.
    Cell Reports 07/2015; · 8.36 Impact Factor
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    DESCRIPTION: •Trans-species eQTL links host gene expression to genetic loci of the malaria parasite •Genome-wide pattern of LOD score clusters together genes with similar functions •Databases of host gene clusters and linked parasite genetic loci are established •Predicted regulators of IFN-I responses are experimentally confirmed

  • 07/2015; DOI:10.1038/nrdp.2015.16
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    Qingxue Li · Adrian R Wilkie · Melodie Weller · Xueqiao Liu · Jeffrey I Cohen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infects about 50% of the US population, is the leading infectious cause of birth defects, and is considered the most important infectious agent in transplant recipients. The virus infects many cell types in vivo and in vitro. While previous studies have identified several cellular proteins that may function at early steps of infection in a cell type dependent manner, the mechanism of virus entry is still poorly understood. Using a computational biology approach, correlating gene expression with virus infectivity in 54 cell lines, we identified THY-1 as a putative host determinant for HCMV infection in these cells. With a series of loss-of-function, gain-of-function and protein-protein interaction analyses, we found that THY-1 mediates HCMV infection at the entry step and is important for infection that occurs at a low m.o.i. THY-1 antibody that bound to the cell surface blocked HCMV during the initial 60 minutes of infection in a dose-dependent manner. Down-regulation of THY-1 with siRNA impaired infectivity occurred during the initial 60 minutes of inoculation. Both THY-1 antibody and siRNA inhibited HCMV-induced activation of the PI3-K/Akt pathway required for entry. Soluble THY-1 protein blocked HCMV infection during, but not after, virus internalization. Expression of exogenous THY-1 enhanced entry in cells expressing low levels of the protein. THY-1 interacted with HCMV gB and gH and may form a complex important for entry. However, since gB and gH have previously been shown to interact, it is uncertain if THY-1 directly binds to both of these proteins. Prior observations that THY-1 (a) interacts with αVβ3 integrin and recruits paxillin (implicated in HCMV entry), (b) regulates leukocyte extravasation (critical for HCMV viremia), and (c) is expressed on many cells targeted for HCMV infection including epithelial and endothelial cells, fibroblast, and CD34+/CD38- stem cells, all support a role for THY-1 as an HCMV entry mediator in a cell type dependent manner. THY-1 may function through a complex setting, that would include viral gB and gH, and other cellular factors, thus links virus entry with signaling in host cells that ultimately leads to virus infection.
    PLoS Pathogens 07/2015; 11(7):e1004999. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004999 · 7.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), the principal causative agent of recurrent genital herpes, is a highly prevalent viral infection worldwide. Limited information is available on the amount of genomic DNA variation between HSV-2 strains because only two genomes have been determined, the HG52 laboratory strain and the newly sequenced SD90e low-passage-number clinical isolate strain, each from a different geographical area. In this study, we report the nearly complete genome sequences of 34 HSV-2 lowpassage- number and laboratory strains, 14 of which were collected in Uganda, 1 in South Africa, 11 in the United States, and 8 in Japan. Our analyses of these genomes demonstrated remarkable sequence conservation, regardless of geographic origin, with the maximum nucleotide divergence between strains being 0.4% across the genome. In contrast, prior studies indicated that HSV-1 genomes exhibit more sequence diversity, as well as geographical clustering. Additionally, unlike HSV-1, little viral recombination between HSV-2 strains could be substantiated. These results are interpreted in light of HSV-2 evolution, epidemiology, and pathogenesis. Finally, the newly generated sequences more closely resemble the low-passage-number SD90e than HG52, supporting the use of the former as the new reference genome of HSV-2.
    Journal of Virology 05/2015; 89(16). DOI:10.1128/JVI.01303-15 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Severe chronic active Epstein-Barr virus (CAEBV) disease is defined as a severe progressive illness lasting 6 months or longer with infiltration of tissues with EBV-positive lymphocytes, markedly elevated levels of EBV DNA in the blood, and no known immunodeficiency such as HIV. These patients usually have fever, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and may have markedly elevated EBV antibody titers to viral capsid antigen. Although the cause of most cases of severe CAEBV is unknown, one well-documented case was associated with compound heterozygous mutations in PRF1 (perforin 1). Here we report a patient with prolonged severe CAEBV who underwent bone marrow transplant for his disease and subsequently was found to have compound heterozygous mutations in STXBP2 (MUNC18-2) as well as a heterozygous mutation in PRF1 (perforin 1).
    Journal of Clinical Immunology 05/2015; 35(5). DOI:10.1007/s10875-015-0168-y · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • Jeffrey I Cohen ·

    New England Journal of Medicine 04/2015; 372(22). DOI:10.1056/NEJMe1505050 · 55.87 Impact Factor
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    XueQiao Liu · Jeffrey I. Cohen ·
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt signaling pathway regulates several key cellular functions including protein synthesis, cell growth, glucose metabolism, and inflammation. Many viruses have evolved mechanisms to manipulate this signaling pathway to ensure successful virus replication. The human herpesviruses undergo both latent and lytic infection, but differ in cell tropism, growth kinetics, and disease manifestations. Herpesviruses express multiple proteins that target the PI3K/Akt cell signaling pathway during the course of their life cycle to facilitate viral infection, replication, latency, and reactivation. Rare human genetic disorders with mutations in either the catalytic or regulatory subunit of PI3K that result in constitutive activation of the protein predispose to severe herpesvirus infections as well as to virus-associated malignancies. Inhibiting the PI3K/Akt pathway or its downstream proteins using drugs already approved for other diseases can block herpesvirus lytic infection and may reduce malignancies associated with latent herpesvirus infections. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Virology 03/2015; 479-480. DOI:10.1016/j.virol.2015.02.040 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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    Jeffrey I Cohen ·
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    ABSTRACT: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis (IM) and is associated with epithelial cell malignancies such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric carcinoma, as well as lymphoid malignancies including Hodgkin lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder. EBV vaccines to prevent primary infection or disease, or therapeutic vaccines to treat EBV malignancies have not been licensed. Most efforts to develop prophylactic vaccines have focused on EBV gp350, which is the major target of neutralizing antibody. A single phase 2 trial of an EBV gp350 vaccine has been reported; the vaccine reduced the rate of IM but not virus infection. The observation that infusion of EBV-specific T cells can reduce disease due to Hodgkin lymphoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma provides a proof of principle that a therapeutic vaccine for these and other EBV-associated malignancies might be effective. Most therapeutic vaccines have targeted EBV LMP2 and EBV nuclear antigen-1. As EBV is associated with nearly 200 000 new malignancies each year worldwide, an EBV vaccine to prevent these diseases is needed.
    01/2015; 4(1):e32. DOI:10.1038/cti.2014.27
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: No herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) vaccine has been licensed for use in humans. HSV-2 glycoproteins B (gB) and D (gD) are targets of neutralizing antibodies and T cells, but clinical trials involving intramuscular (i.m.) injection of HSV-2 gB and gD in adjuvants have not been effective. Here we evaluated intravaginal (ivag) genetic immunization of C57BL/6 mice with a replication-defective human papillomavirus pseudovirus (HPV PsV) expressing HSV-2 gB (HPV-gB) or gD (HPV-gD) constructs to target different subcellular compartments. HPV PsV expressing a secreted ectodomain of gB (gBsec) or gD (gDsec), but not PsV expressing a cytoplasmic or membrane-bound form, induced circulating and intravaginal-tissue-resident memory CD8(+) T cells that were able to secrete gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) as well as moderate levels of serum HSV neutralizing antibodies. Combined immunization with HPV-gBsec and HPV-gDsec (HPV-gBsec/gDsec) vaccines conferred longer survival after vaginal challenge with HSV-2 than immunization with HPV-gBsec or HPV-gDsec alone. HPV-gBsec/gDsec ivag vaccination was associated with a reduced severity of genital lesions and lower levels of viral shedding in the genital tract after HSV-2 challenge. In contrast, intramuscular vaccination with a soluble truncated gD protein (gD2t) in alum and monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL) elicited high neutralizing antibody titers and improved survival but did not reduce genital lesions and viral shedding. Vaccination combining ivag HPV-gBsec/gDsec and i.m. gD2t-alum-MPL improved survival and reduced genital lesions and viral shedding. Finally, high levels of circulating HSV-2-specific CD8(+) T cells, but not serum antibodies, correlated with reduced viral shedding. Taken together, our data underscore the potential of HPV PsV as a platform for a topical mucosal vaccine to control local manifestations of primary HSV-2 infection. Importance: Genital herpes is a highly prevalent chronic disease caused by HSV infection. To date, there is no licensed vaccine against HSV infection. This study describes intravaginal vaccination with a nonreplicating HPV-based vector expressing HSV glycoprotein antigens. The data presented in this study underscore the potential of HPV-based vectors as a platform for the induction of genital-tissue-resident memory T cell responses and the control of local manifestations of primary HSV infection.
    Journal of Virology 10/2014; 89(1). DOI:10.1128/JVI.02380-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high-throughput test to detect varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antibodies in varicella vaccine recipients is not currently available. One of the most sensitive tests for detecting VZV antibodies after vaccination is the fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen (FAMA) test. Unfortunately, this test is labor-intensive, somewhat subjective to read, and not commercially available. Therefore, we developed a highly quantitative and high-throughput luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay to detect antibody to VZV glycoprotein E (gE). Tests of children who received the varicella vaccine showed that the gE LIPS assay had 90% sensitivity and 70% specificity, a viral capsid antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) had 67% and 87% specificity, and a glycoprotein ELISA (not commercially available in the United States) had 94% sensitivity and 74% specificity compared with the FAMA test. The rates of antibody detection by the gE LIPS and glycoprotein ELISA were not statistically different. Therefore, the gE LIPS assay may be useful for detecting VZV antibodies in varicella vaccine recipients. (This study has been registered at under registration no. NCT00921999.)
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2014; 21(9). DOI:10.1128/CVI.00250-14 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    Clinical Infectious Diseases 07/2014; 59(1):136-7. DOI:10.1093/cid/ciu197 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection can cause severe disease in neonates and immunocompromised persons, and infectious mononucleosis in healthy adults. While, rhesus CMV (RhCMV) infects human cells in culture, it is unknown whether the virus can infect humans. Objectives: We sought to determine whether primate workers, including those with injuries from animals, might be infected asymptomatically with RhCMV. Study design: We developed serologic assays that distinguish RhCMV from HCMV antibodies. We tested two groups of primate workers: those with documented injuries or mucosal splashes associated with rhesus macaques, and those with no documented exposure who worked with these animals. Results: None of over 200 primate workers, including 119 with injuries or mucosal splashes associated with exposures to macaques, were seropositive for RhCMV. Conclusions: The frequency of asymptomatic RhCMV infection in persons who work with rhesus macaques was <0.5% (<1/200 primate workers).
    Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 05/2014; 60(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jcv.2013.07.010 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Herpesvirus capsid morphogenesis occurs in the nucleus, while final maturation takes place in the cytosol, requiring translocation of capsids through the nuclear envelope. The nuclear egress complex, consisting of homologs of herpes simplex virus pUL31 and pUL34, is required for efficient nuclear egress via primary envelopment and de-envelopment. Recently, we described an alternative mode of nuclear escape by fragmentation of the nuclear envelope induced by replication-competent pUL31 and pUL34 deletion mutants of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV), which had been selected by serial passaging in cell culture. Both passaged viruses carry congruent mutations in seven genes, including UL46, which encodes one of the major tegument proteins. Herpesvirus pUL46 homologs have recently been shown to activate the PI3K-Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathways, which are involved in regulation of mitosis and apoptosis. Since in uninfected cells fragmentation of the nuclear envelope occurs during mitosis and apoptosis, we analyzed whether pUL46 of PrV is involved in signaling events impairing the integrity of the nuclear envelope. We show here that PrV pUL46 is able to induce phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and, thus, expression of ERK1/2 target genes but fails to activate the PI3K-Akt pathway. Deletion of UL46 from PrV-ΔUL34Pass and PrV-ΔUL31Pass or replacement by wild-type UL46 resulted in enhanced nuclear envelope breakdown, indicating that the mutations in pUL46 may limit the extent of NEBD. Thus, although pUL46 induces ERK1/2 phosphorylation, controlling the integrity of the nuclear envelope is independent of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. Importance: Herpesvirus nucleocapsids can leave the nucleus by regulated, vesicle-mediated transport through the nuclear envelope, designated nuclear egress, or by inducing nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD). The viral proteins involved in NEBD are unknown. We show here that the pseudorabies virus tegument protein pUL46 induces the ERK1/2 signaling pathway and modulates NEBD. However, these two processes are independent and ERK1/2 signaling induced by pUL46 is not involved in herpesvirus-induced NEBD.
    Journal of Virology 03/2014; 88(11). DOI:10.1128/JVI.00501-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
1,183.00 Total Impact Points


  • 1994-2015
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      • Laboratory of Immunoregulation
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 1988-2015
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Laboratory of Infectious Diseases
      • • Branch of Science of Research and Technology
      • • Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases
      • • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
      • • Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI)
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 2013
    • Leidos Biomedical Research
      Фредерик, Maryland, United States
  • 2008-2013
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
    • Fox Chase Cancer Center
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2009
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
      • Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2005
    • United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases
      Фредерик, Maryland, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2002
    • Georgia State University
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 1995
    • University of Liège
      • Laboratory of Fundamental Virology
      Luik, Walloon, Belgium